The Federalists vs.
The Anti-FederalistsWhen the revolutionary war was over, the American colonists had foundthemselves free of British domination.Due to the fact that they were freefrom British control, they wanted to create their own system of government where tyranny would be practically diminished. Originally, the separate states were connected by The Articles of Confederation.
But this document gave the central government no power of their own. Because of this, the states had many problemsin international politics since they had just found freedom and did not have the respect of other countries. This caused a lot of thinking and it was decided that a document needed to be created to strengthen the central government and at the same time ensuring the safety of the states.
So came to be the constitution. Theconstitution brought about a division between the American people. These two groupswere the federalists, who believed that the constitution was good, and the anti-federalistswho thought that the constitution would not be able to protect the rights of the people. These two groups had conflicting views but together, they both wanted the same thing.The same thing was that America should be controlled by the people by the principles of federalism. Both groups, the federalist and anti-federalists recognized the fact thatpower was being abused.
They witnessed what had happened in the war and that theirhad been negative effects of power and the result was very clear. British vocation hadmade them very aware of the threat of corruption. Therefore, they wanted to make agovernment that would ensure the duration of an just republic. The federalists exclaimedthat the constitution was the only way they could reach this goal of a just society.
As James Wilson had said, the constitution would not give all the power to thelegislature unless it was legally written down to ensure power was not mistreated. In theconstitution, it does allow congress to make laws that help out the government in the area ofexecution of foreign powers.The view of the anti-federalists were obviously different. They believedthat the power given to the congress was not safe since it put them too much incontrol.
Hence they created the Bill of Rights to “establish justice, ensure domestictranquillity and provide for the common defense…
” The anti-federalists feared that theactual people would not be fairly represented by their new government since they would havethe power to get rid of the individual rights of the people. The Bill of Rights claimsit is for and by the people. Especially since America is so large, it does not ensureeveryone’s opinion would be heard. Many people did not like the idea of having representativesfrom each state because one man can not bring forth many different opinions. Anti-federalistsbelieve that liberty only is present when there are few people and they can actuallyget their voice projected. In a large population, like America, the citizens do not getindividual freedom and are deprived of their rights.Yet, Madison a federalist stated that in a small republic, tyranny could bemuch more assessable since it would be easier to dominate others.
Unlike in alarge republic which is made up of many views where as it is less chance that a few candominate others. Even in individual states it is easy to elect officials since people can beeasily controlled when there aren’t many people. In other word, the more the people, the lesschance of bribery and inducement. Another benefit of a larger republic is that therewould be a variety of people representing them and their would be many candidates to pickfrom. Ensuring the highest quality government.
In a small republic, options wouldbe very select making it an unfair election.Besides finding officials to best represent the people, there were many othercontroversial topics that faced the American people. The topic of taxationbrought about many different ideas of what should be. The anti-federalists believed that byforming a new system would be very challenging because that is what they know and use.
The first problem they found was that states would not want to have two state taxes.This is unfair to the people. They also argued that a state tax was unfair since each statewas different with different needs. This could very well destroy a state economically whileother states be fine.The federalists believed that congress had all the right to have directtaxation in ensure the safety of national security.
The claimed that the constitutionwas created to make sure the sovereign power of the states was protected. The statelegislature was responsible to elect two senators and the presidential electoral process.As stated before, both sides wanted to create a country where the peoplesvoice was heard and tyranny would not happen, but the way to accomplish this was aconflicting. The topic of power and who got what had torn America apart butsoon enough, they formed a perfect solution in which both views where united toprotect the citizens rights.